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Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – December 2019

Present situation
Unfortunately, the seismic shocks – the so-called earthquake swarm – continued after the terrible earthquake happened on November 26th. The European Commission announced that an international conference of donors from EU member countries will be held in January for the reconstruction of Albania. In general, the earthquake damaged around 14,000 buildings and left around 13,000 people homeless. Meanwhile, the tests to check the safe condition of the houses continue, although many families who lived in the most isolated areas complain about the absence and the aloofness of the institutions. The satirical program “Fiks Fare” reported a particular case in Thumanë, the epicenter of the earthquake, where only few houses remained undamaged. A family with 7 children lives in the backyard in difficult conditions, without access to the accommodation services offered by the State, since they are involved in a blood feud and therefore do not trust to live together with other citizens for security reasons. (more…)

Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – November 2019

Present situation
In November, we did not report any cases attributable to the blood feuds phenomenon. However, at the beginning of the month, the Albanian TV program “Fiks fare” had a great relevance in the media, showing the interview of a man who is moving to Germany by bus in order to apply for the asylum because of blood feud reasons. The unrecognizable passenger from Lezha affirms that he had to pay a significant amount of money to the prosecutor’s office, the judges and an association which deals with reconciliation, in order to obtain the documents attesting he is a blood feud victim.
On November 26th, a terrible and strong earthquake (magnitude 6.4 on the Richter scale) struck Albania, causing 51 victims and more than 750 injured. The Durrës area was the epicentre of the earthquake and the town of Thumanë was arshly hit. Albania, poorly equipped to deal with such a natural disaster, found itself in serious difficulty. (more…)

Operazione Colomba – monthly report of activities in Albania – October 2019

Present situation
The political situation in Albania is still uncertain. The new local elections, expected to take place on October 13th have never occurred. A new mayor has not yet been elected in the municipality of Shkodër, after the withdrawal of the last elected one because of a scandal over his conviction for drug trafficking in Italy. Meanwhile, the municipality is still run by the outgoing mayor.
Furthermore, the European Union has postponed the opening of access negotiations for Albania and Northern Macedonia: despite the European Commission accordance in its accession, France strongly opposed opening. Conte, the Prime Minister of Italy, defined this decision as “A historical mistake“. The European Parliament has also expressed its disappointment due to the lack of agreement through a resolution.
In regard to the crime news, at the beginning of October, a murder occured in the northern region of Mirdita: a 34-year-old man was probably killed because of a blood feud. In fact, on February 24th, his brother had killed a 45-year-old man in a gunfight in Durrës. Because of what his brother committed, it seems that the victim lived in a self-isolation condition because he feared for his life. From media, we learnt that the alleged culprit for this murder was a victim’s childhood friend and his family members now live, in turn, self-isolated.
This month an important mention was given, through an award ceremony, to Dritan Prroj, Protestant minister of the Fjala e Krishtit (Word of Christ) church, killed in 2010 for blood feuds reasons. His death led to the foundation of the Association “Jo gjakmarrjes, Po Jetes” (No to blood feud, Yes to Life) which deals with combating the phenomenon, with particular attention to minors’ education and women support. (more…)

Beyond the sea

Al di là del mare” (Beyond the sea) is the video directed by the students of the Scientific High School ‘Da Vinci’ in Trento. The report describes their educational journey in Albania with Trentino Con i Balcani Association on April 2019. During the trip, the guys met Operazione Colomba’s volunteers in Shkodër who guided them to visit the most important historical and religious sites in the city. The volunteers also caught the opportunity to tell the students Operazione Colomba’s activities, talking about what they carry out against blood feuds phenomenon in Albania every day. In this regard, the students interviewed Operazione Colomba’s volunteers, proving to be interested in their work.

The “Angiolino Acquisti” Scholarship

On Friday 25 October, at the high schools of Sansepolcro, the “Angiolino Acquisti” Scholarship was awarded to Dr. Nadia Cadrobbi, a long term volunteer who recently completed her mission in Albania with Operazione Colomba. The Scholarship is intended for the Non-violence issue with the aim of disseminating scientific studies about non-violent conflict management, resolution and transformation. (more…)